A. Jonathan Auguste has been named assistant professor of entomology in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
He is one of a number of new faculty members recently hired in the college this academic year. New positions were identified to bring talent to the college's focus areas, including food, health, the environment, and community viability. The new faculty members are distributed across teaching, research, and Extension.
Auguste's general research theme involves understanding the ecological and evolutionary factors involved in emergence, dispersal, and maintenance of arboviruses. Auguste is also a "virus hunter" and studies the genetic and structural characteristics of novel arboviruses he discovers during his fieldwork.
His current focus is understanding the mechanisms by which insect specific viruses are unable replicate in vertebrate cells and elucidating the mechanism by which insect specific viruses preclude super-infection of pathogenic flaviviruses in vivo. Auguste's research employs mosquitoes and small animal models, and is performed at biosafety levels 2 and 3 labs at the Fralin Life Science Institute.
Auguste received both his bachelor's degree in biochemistry and his doctorate in molecular genetics from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.